Secret gardener - Miranda Hart

The popular actress has grown up with gardening, as her mum, Dee, has opened her garden for the NGS for over 27 years.

The three-acre Hampshire garden has a large lawn surrounded by romantic English planting of China blue delphiniums, roses, geums and Baptisia australis – which Dee recommends as a good stand-in for lupins, as well as more unusual plants such as the American fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus).  There are quiet areas with benches inviting you to sit and contemplate, hear the birds or smell the scent.  Despite admitting to hiding from visitors on open days, growing up with access to such an idyllic and admired garden has given Miranda a great appreciation of the peace and joy having a garden brings.

Dee’s garden needs constant care and she has never left it for more than four days.  This passion for plants is beginning to rub off on Miranda who is keen to nurture her West London garden into ‘a real oasis to enjoy’.  She enlists the help of her mum in a TV series ‘All Gardens Great and Small’ screened on More 4, in which Dee gives her a hand, donating plants from her own garden, including a hydrangea Phlox ‘Blue Paradise’ and Phlox ‘Miranda.’  It’s entertaining viewing, where innuendos abound as they take on Miranda’s rampant wisteria and trachelospermum, which they think sounds like a male disease.

‘I now see the excitement in having a small patch of earth that you can turn into something special,’ says Miranda.  She’s inherited her mum’s sense of humour, let’s just hope the green fingered gene has passed down a generation too!